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BurmaNet News: July 2, 2001

______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
        An on-line newspaper covering Burma 
         July 2, 2001   Issue # 1835
______________ www.burmanet.org _______________

*Rhododendron News: General Secretary Of The Zomi National Congress 
Party Passed Away 
*Shan Herald Agency for News: Local people afraid of General Khin 
Nyunt's visit
*Burma Courier: Junta Speechmaker Takes a Hard Line on Forced Labour
*Burma Courier: Confusion over Location of Imprisoned Student Leader
*Mizzima: From 'Secret Talk' to 'Real Dialogue' in Rangoon

MONEY _______
*BMA: Suzuki still under Pressure to Pull out of Burma 
*Burma Courier: Myanmar Airline Still Struggling with Bottom Line

*The Statesman (New Delhi): After India, it will be Myanmar-- NSCN-K

*Bangkok Post: Drug lord recovers from partial paralysis-Rumours of 
Bangkok treatment denied
*DVB : Amphetamine seizure in Myawadi

*DVB: NCGUB welcomes release of political detainees, UN envoy's visit 

*Boston Globe: Editorial - Message to Burma

*New York Times:  Wayne Shorter, at 67, Inspiring a Quest for Perfection

__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________

Rhododendron News: General Secretary Of The Zomi National Congress Party 
Passed Away 

Ottawa, June 30, 2001

Pu Vung Za Pau, a 34 - year old, General Secretary of Zomi National 
Congress ( ZNC ) had passed away on 23 June 2001 during a stomach 
operation at Bohosi hospital in Rangoon. 
Pu Vung Za Pau was one of the founding members of the Zomi National 
Congress party which won two parliamentary seats from Tidim and Tonzang 
constituency in Chin State during the 1990 general elections in Burma. 

Pu Vung Za Pau actively participated in the Committee Representing 
Peoples Parliament CRPP formed in September 1998 under the leadership of 
Aung San Suu Kyi. 

The ruling military regime, State Peace and Development Council ( SPDC ) 
cancelled the registration of ZNC as a political party and its chairman 
Pu Cin Sian Thang was arrested by the authority for meeting with United 
Nations Special Envoy to Burma in 1999.  

Pu Vung Za Pau was born in Tidim Township, Chin State and graduated from 
Rangoon University. He was the founder of the "MOMNO" newsletter in Zomi 
dialect during his university years. 


Shan Herald Agency for News: Local people afraid of General Khin Nyunt's 

1 July 2001

According to a report from the north on 27 June, the people of a border 
town were thoroughly put off by the exorbitant demands of the local 
authorities on them during the preparations for the visit of Burma's No. 
3 strongman, Gen. Khin Nyunt that is due soon. 

On 26 June, the market in Namkham, 129 miles north of Lashio, northern 
Shan State, was "set upon" by the township peace and development council 
and the municipality officials, who exacted "contributions" from the 
shopkeepers in accordance with the following rates:- 

Those selling construction materials K 10,000 each;
Big shops K 8,000 each;
Small shops K 500 each
Shoe shops, big K 3,000 each

They also requisitioned 300-pairs of Yinma brand white shoes for 
students who would participate in the reception with dances. 

"Even the students had to pay K 2,000 each," said one shopkeeper. "You 
can be sure some of the loot will be lining their pockets. Voluntary 
contributions, they say. I'd say it's daylight robbery." 

Many prayed there be no more visits by Rangoon's top generals in future, 
said the source. 

Namkham's market has more than 2,000 shops. Gen. Khin Nyunt was going 
there for the inauguration of the town's first computer complex, 
according to the source. 


Burma Courier: Junta Speechmaker Takes a Hard Line on Forced Labour

June 30, 2001

Based on an article in the Myanmar Times, news from MNA: Updated to  
June 26, 2001

RANGOON - In an article that bears the marks of the censor's red pencil, 
the Myanmar Times and Business Review, has taken note of a global report 
on forced labour issued by the International Labour Organization at its 
annual conference in Geneva in June.

Entitled, "Stopping forced labour", the report examines the "myriad 
forms" of forced labour in the world today and responses to them. Among 
the uses of forced labour dealt with in detail are the trafficking of 
women and children for prostitution, domestic servitude and sweatshop 
employment, debt bondage or indentured labour (particularly prevalent in 
South Asia), prison labour and slavery. The report also proposes 
specific measures to eliminate what it terms "this terrible practice".

A special chapter deals with what is called "an extreme case: forced 
labour exacted by the military".   "In contrast to [other] situations in 
which governments are acknowledging the existence of various forms 
forced labour and making attempts to address them,"  the report says, "a 
few countries reject the idea that there is such a problem."  
Military-ruled Guatemala in the 1980s is cited as an example, but the 
chapter focuses mainly on Myanmar. 

The Times article does not mention the Myanmar chapter but does quote 
with apparent approval words of Edward Potter, a U.S. delegate and 
Jean-Luc Nordmann, a Swiss representative, both of whom called on the 
ILO to strengthen technical and advisory services to members at the June 
conference.  Myanmar recently agreed reluctantly to accept a technical 
mission on forced labour which will visit the country in September. 
But technical assistance has its limitations when it comes to problems 
as thorny and as deeply embedded as the practice of forced labour is in 
Burma, as the report points out in its chapter on Myanmar.  "There can 
be no real possibility of tackling the problems of forced labour through 
specific and targeted programs of technical assistance, until a 
government has demonstrated the firm political will to eradicate a 
generalized practice, and to investigate and sanction severely the 
exaction of forced labour by its own officials."

The "political will" to eliminate forced labour seemed just as remote as 
ever this week, if words spoken by the military regime's classic 
speechmaker, Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt are to be taken at face value.  He told 
an audience of Myanmar diplomats this week that "some opposition groups 
are spreading allegations based on false information, claiming that 
there are widespread human rights abuses and forced labour in the 
country. These allegations are completely groundless. The Government is 
taking systematic diplomatic steps to refute them and to let the world 
know of the true situation of the country".

It's hard to imagine much wriggle-room for a technical mission that is 
faced with that kind of public posturing.


Burma Courier: Confusion over Location of Imprisoned Student Leader

June 30, 2001

Based on news from Mizzima and DVB:  Updated to June 27, 2001 
NEW DELHI - There have been conflicting reports about the current 
location of one of Burma's most widely known political prisoners.

A story posted by Mizzima News this week said that student leader Min Ko 
Naing had shifted to a prison in Buthidaung township from Sittwe jail 
where he has been held for years.   A report by the same agency in 
January said the condition of the chairman of the All Burma Federation 
of Student Unions (Bakatha) had deteriorated and that he found it 
difficult to walk without assistance.  Observers told Mizzima that the 
move would make it more difficult for international human rights 
organizations to monitor the situation of student leader.

But a news broadcast by DVB radio last week said the student leader was 
still in Sittwe prison and that his health had improved.

Human rights groups have appealed for the release of Min Ko Naing for 
years. His release following ten years in prison is long overdue.  He 
completed his sentence in 1999.


Mizzima: From 'Secret Talk' to 'Real Dialogue' in Rangoon

By Win Htein, June 30, 2001 
Mizzima News Group (www.mizzima.com) 

    Some positive political developments came out in recent weeks in 
Burma's capital Rangoon from the eight months old "Secret Talks" between 
the ruling generals and the opposition National League for Democracy 
leader Aung San Suu Kyi. These include releases of some political 
prisoners and allowance to reopen some NLD offices in and outside 
The UN's Secretary-General Kofi Annan has welcomed these moves as 
positive signs, saying "There is no alternative way, except dialogue", 
while Australia, Japan and Britain recognizes the junta's new moves.  

In Rangoon, the NLD welcomes them as well. "We hope to see more release 
(of political prisoners). More than 200-members of our party are still 
in jails. None of them were criminals. So they should be released now," 
said U Lwin, joint secretary of the NLD in a telephone conversation with 
Norway-based Democratic Voice of Burma.  

On 20th June, Bo Hmu Aung, one of the Burma's "Thirty Comrades" along 
with his colleagues wrote an open letter to Senior General Than Shwe who 
is the head of ruling junta. They welcomed the recent developments as 
positive sign but they said the junta needs to do more.  
"We entreat the SPDC (the junta) to release imprisoned and incarcerated 
political prisoners unconditionally, including Aung San Suu Kyi. We 
believe that all legally constituted political parties should be 
restored the democratic right" the letter urged.  

However, U Saw Mara Aung, elected chairman for the alternative 
parliament, Committee for Representing People's parliament (CRPP) and 
who was one among the recent releases said, "I really cannot say what is 
their attitude, changed or not! It is very premature at this stage. I 
was just permitted to return home. I want to meet Daw Suu before talking 
about future" in his emotional interview.  
Diplomatic sources in Rangoon believe that the issue of political 
prisoners is the heart of the discussions between generals and Aung San 
Suu Kyi. So that release is a part of confidence-building process. More 
progress will come out soon, hopefully.  

According to semi-official Rangoon-based paper "The Myanmar Times", the 
UN special envoy Razali will come back to Rangoon in July to talk with 
both sides. Observers believe that it is the time now to start a real 
dialogue for political changes in Burma.  

For the opposition camp, although there were some releases of political 
prisoners in the past two weeks, Suu Kyi and her two chairmen -Aung Shwe 
and Tin Oo - are still under house arrest while other 1500-political 
prisoners are having long-term prison sentences. Although the generals 
allowed to reopen 18 offices of NLD in Rangoon Division, hundreds of NLD 
offices outside the capital are still closed and the party officials are 
not allowed to visit there.  
"We don't know exactly whether they (junta) will allow us or not to 
visit the countryside. When Daw Suu went to outside Rangoon (in 
September last year), they blocked her although there is no official 
ban", explained U Lwin.  

According to Shan sources in Thai-Burma border, the junta's Military 
Intelligence (MI) continues to pressure on the members of Shan National 
League for Democracy (SNLD) to resign from the party. Some members were 
reportedly arrested. SNLD is one of the ethnic nationality parties that 
won in the 1990 elections.  

Meanwhile, exiled opposition has demanded the immediate release of Aung 
San Suu Kyi, her two chairmen and some prominent political prisoners, 
including the student leader Min Ko Naing and CRPP secretary U Aye Thar 
Aung, before entering into next round of talks.  
They also urged the military regime to make official announcement in the 
state-run media about the discussions. Some even suspects that the junta 
is using the talks as an escape from international pressure.  

"If they are really honest on this process, there is no reason to 
continue to hide", commented Dr Thaung Htun, representative of the 
Burmese exiled government for the United Nations.  
"We hope the next round of talks should discuss about principles of 
transition for a new government. And we would like to urge both sides to 
invite more participation in the next step", he added. For the Burmese 
people in general, they continue to wait and see.  
Win Htein is a correspondent for Democratic Voice of Burma and 
contributed this article to Mizzima News Group. 


BMA: Suzuki still under Pressure to Pull out of Burma 

By Tin Maung Htoo (Canada)
Burma Media Association
June 29, 2001

After Unocal, Suzuki has become a global target of free Burma  campaign. 
 Activists who oppose investment in Burma have been  steadfastly 
pressuring the company with several global actions  although the company 
has still persisted to pull out of its business  over the past four 

Today in Japan, Suzuki Motor Corp. is to hold its Annual General  
Meeting.  Usually, it is a rising time for activists to generate more  
pressure toward companies doing business in Burma, but the current  
location of the company's annual meeting is unreachable for Burma  
activists since the Suzuki shareholder meeting is planned to hold in  
Hamamatsu city, 125 miles far from Tokyo.  

Nevertheless, Sayuri Miyazaki from the Network on Suzuki Burma Issue  
(NSBI) said they are doing a Fax Letter Campaign to protest Suzuki's  
involvement in Burma, adding: "NSBI is now planning a demo in someday  
of July, 2001, in front of the 
Suzuki branch office in Tokyo." 

The Tokyo-based NSBI was formed last year in an effort to jointly  
pressure the company's withdrawal from Burma by the Consumer Union of  
Japan, the Transnational Corporation Monitor of Japan, and the  People's 
Forum on Burma after their separate efforts was in vain in  the past 

In North America, "Boycott Suzuki Campaign" is more widespread  although 
the Headquarter is situated in Japan.  Activists pressure  the Suzuki 
through U.S and Canada-based regional offices and retail  outlets. 
Students-based Free Burma Coalition is the most effective  pioneer and 
campaigner to push the Suzuki out of Burma, along with  various Unocal 

In Canada, Burma activists are also vigilant with the Suzuki Boycott  
Campaign and have joined in several International Day of Actions with  
U.S cities.  In April, activists from Toronto Burma Roundtable went  to 
see with Suzuki Canada's regional officials and union's leaders in  
Ingarsoll near London City of Ontario, where the Suzuki Canada plant  is 
located, and encouraged relevant sectors to pressure the  Headquarter in 
Japan to get the company out of Burma.    

However, when U.S-based activists did the similar approaches to their  
San Francisco-based office, they got an unconvinced response from the  
regional branch that American Suzuki "has no power" over the  company's 
involvement in Burma.

An American-Burma activist, Edith Mirante, reacted to the response  
that, "it's ridiculous for American Suzuki, or divisions in other  
countries, to claim that they cannot influence decisions being made  in 
Japan."  Burma activists still vow that they would intensify the  
campaign until the company pulls out of Burma.  

Suzuki established the Myanmar Suzuki Motor Co., Ltd in November 1998  
with the capital of 6.9 million.  It own 60% of the business and 30%  is 
controlled by Myanmar Automobile & Diesel Engine Industries  (MADI), a 
department of Industry No.2 under the minister Maj. Gen.  Saw Lwin who 
is reportedly linked with arms dealing and production in  Burma.  The 
company is reportedly employing 50 employees, 11 are  Japanese, and the 
rest are Burmese. 

According a recent article on Myanmar Times on June 4, the Suzuki  
production of motor bikes, passenger cars and small truck decreased  in 
terms of regulated tough import restrictions.  "In its third year  of 
operation the factory had an assigned capacity of 5,000 vehicles,  but 
manager told the Times that this had been reduced to 1,680  vehicles due 
to a cut back in import allowances for the fiscal year  2000-1," the 
article stated.

Another Japanese motor company Toyota that also invested in Burma  left 
the country after it found the business to be unprofitable. 


Burma Courier: Myanmar Airline Still Struggling with Bottom Line

June 30, 2001

Based on news from Asia Pulse, MNA, Travel Asia, Travel Week:  Updated 
to June 27

RANGOON - With a leasing contract for its modest fleet of two Boeing 
737-400s due to expire at the end of this month, Mayanmar Airways 
International has taken steps to downgrade its fleet to 737-300s. 

The move is in line with plans outlined by Prithpal Singh, MAI's chief 
operating officer, appointed when Region Airlines of Singapore bought a 
49% stake in the cash-strapped Myanmar company last December. The 
Singapore company, whose primary business is the leasing, buying and 
selling of aircraft, is also effectively providing management services 
to MAI. 
Shortly after he took over in January, Singh told Travel Asia magazine 
writer Tim McIntryre the airline had no place to go but up. "Right now, 
things are quite frankly, directionless." Singh admitted.  "There is no 
promotion, no advertising, no positive branding, nothing at all." 

Singh also had an interesting observation to make about the airline's 
staff of some 140-50 persons.   He said that MAI staff were well 
educated but had become used to a culture
where they simply acted on instructions.  His aim, he said, was to get 
the company "up to speed, adopting a commercial attitude and thinking 
Over the past six months MAI has kept to its twice a day schedule 
between Rangoon and Bangkok, a daily flight to Singapore and a twice 
weekly run to Hong Kong.  But with load factors for the Boeing 737-400s 
hovering at 55 to 60 percent and low aircraft utilization rates because 
of short runs, operations must still be far from meeting the company's 
bottom line requirements.

The smaller 737-300s have a maximum seating capacity of 126 in contrast 
to the larger aircraft's 146 limit and will be more economical to 
operate.  MAI would like to open up routes to India and Japan and tour 
packages out of Singapore.

One of the new aircraft arrived in Rangoon this week from Jakarta where 
MAI has signed a long-term maintenance contract with the state-owned 
airline, Garuda Indonesia.   A note in the official press said that 
Transport Minister Hla Myint Swe and his entourage had been out to the 
airport to kick the tires and make sure the weeds were cleared off the 
runway.  Another 737-300 is headed to Indonesia next month for an 


The Statesman (New Delhi): After India, it will be Myanmar-- NSCN-K


July 2, 2001 

MOKOKCHUNG (Nagaland), July 1. ? The NSCN-K will turn its attention to 
Myanmar after the Naga political problem is settled with India and bring 
all Nagas together in "one sovereign country."  

The NSCN-K and the Centre declared a ceasefire on 28 April after about a 
year of "informal" truce.  

The NSCN-K general secretary and "prime minister" of the "government of 
People's Republic of Nagaland", Mr N Kitovi Zhimomi, told The Statesman 
somewhere in Mokokchung district that half the Naga population lives in 
Myanmar and his organisation cannot rest till they (Nagas in Myanmar) 
and their land are freed from Myanmarese occupation and integrated with 
other Nagas and the areas inhabited by them in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, 
Manipur and the present state of Nagaland as on sovereign nation.  

Sitting in his seemingly well fortified office ? a close circuit TV 
watches for any inimical activity outside the building built on a hill 
slope while over a dozen young men with automatic weapons guard the way 
to his chamber three stories below the road level ? Mr Zhimomi asserted 
that no solution of the Naga political problem could be found within the 
Indian Constitution.  
"Even if we arrive at any settlement with the Indian government 
regarding Nagas living in India, our struggle against Myanmar will 
continue," he said.  

According to him, about 1.3 million Nagas live inside the 
"administrative zone" of the NSCN-K is not so dominant.
"In fact, Myanmar is not very happy that we have entered into a 
ceasefire agreement with the government of India and not with them 
despite the fact that half the Nagas live there," Mr Zhimomi said. The 
NSCN-K chairman, Mr SS Khaplang, is himself form Myanmar. 
He said the Myanmar junta had sent feelers to the NSCN-K for a ceasefire 
but the organisation has rejected the offer because there is military 
rule in that country. "How can we resolve a problem with a military 
power," the leader said.  

He said a delegation of his government, including some ministers, had 
met Myanmarese officials some time ago and apprised them of the NSCN-K'S 
demand and the latter's "response was at least not negative as they 
acknowledged the existence of the Nagas."  

On future talks with the Centre, Mr Zhimomi said the NSCN-K was doing 
its homework. "We'll ask the people how they want the problem solved and 
we'll ask the people how they want the problem solved and we'll act 
accordingly." The NSCN-K will accept any settlement that the Centre may 
arrive at with the NSCN-IM, if such a solution is acceptable to the 
But will the NSCN-K agree if the Nagas in India war to remain in the 
"I have interacted with a lot of people and they, too, are pining for 
independence form India," Mr Zhimomi said. 


Bangkok Post: Drug lord recovers from partial paralysis-Rumours of 
Bangkok treatment denied

July 02, 2001

By Subin Khuenkaew

Khun Sa, former Golden Triangle opium warlord, is back on his feet after 
suffering partial paralysis, according to a reliable source who claims 
to have seen him at his home in Rangoon two months ago.

The former leader of the Mong Tai Army, who is now 67, was capable of  
walking around his house, but needed help in many ways, the source said.

"He had to be spoon-fed. If he tried to feed himself, he ended up 
spilling everything on his clothes."

He said the former drug warlord also had trouble remembering things, and 
needed help getting up and lying down.

Thai drug officials confirmed they had also heard about Khun Sa's 
condition, but denied rumours he had slipped into Thailand for medical 
treatment in Bangkok.

The source said Khun Sa had been treated for his paralysis by a Chinese 
doctor through an arrangement made by Lo Hsing-han, another surviving 
ex-drug warlord.

The military junta initially refused to allow the Chinese doctor to 
treat him because they did not want outsiders to enter Khun Sa's 
residence in Rangoon, which was guarded by Burmese soldiers.

Khun Sa was still watched by at least five soldiers at all times.

The source, a former attendant, said Khun Sa still thought of Ho Mong, 
his last mountain stronghold before he surrendered to Rangoon on Jan 7, 
1996, and wanted to return to spend his final days there.

However, there was almost nothing left in Ho Mong for Khun Sa to go back 
to, the source said.

His five houses-three at Ho Mong and two at Mong Mai-were all run-down. 
They had been emptied by his minor wives, who took all the furniture and 
anything else of value to their new homes in Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and 

"It would cost a lot to put even one of them back in shape," the source 

Khun Sa has been given a concession to operate a passenger bus and truck 
service between Rangoon and nearby towns, but allows his youngest son to 
look after his money and business.

Tan Kyaw, or Pitak Changtrakul, 31, has been making frequent trips from 
Rangoon to Myawaddy, opposite Mae Sot in Tak, to look after the family's 
businesses and to pursue his plan to build an 80-room hotel-casino.


DVB : Amphetamine seizure in Myawadi

DVB [Democratic Voice of Burma] has learned that over 6m stimulant 
tablets were seized in Myawadi, Karen State yesterday afternoon. The 
suspects have already been taken to Rangoon. DVB correspondent Maung Tu 
filed this report.

[Maung Tu] A Myawadi resident said personnel from the Military 
Intelligence Unit-25, Myanmar Police Force, BDSC [Border Development 
Supervisory Committee], and anti-drug squad searched a house owned by a 
Chinese in Myawadi at about 1500 [local time] yesterday and seized over 
6 million Ya Ba amphetamine tablets. A total of five Chinese and Wa 
nationals including the owner of the drugs were also arrested and have 
been sent to Rangoon. At about the same, Thai authorities also searched 
Ban Mae Khang Village in Mae Sot Province of Thailand and seized 180,000 
stimulant tablets. The Thai side issued a news report that these 
stimulant tablets were trafficked from the Myawadi Hotel on the Burma 
side of the Thaungyin River and were seized by Thai (?border police) 
group in Mae Sot. This is the second time millions of amphetamine 
tablets were seized in the area during this month. Burmese authorities 
seized 7m stimulant tablets at a passenger bus depot in Pa-an on 2 June. 
Sources close to the authorities said the suspects have given a 
statement to the authorities that the stimulant tablets were destined 
for Mae Sot in Thailand. But the news of such drug seizures are usually 
not officially reported by the SPDC [State Peace and Development 
Council] authorities inside Burma and they have also refrained from 
reporting them. 

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma, Oslo, in Burmese 1430 gmt 29 Jun 01

___________________ REGIONAL/INTERNATIONAL___________________

DVB: NCGUB welcomes release of political detainees, UN envoy's visit 

The SPDC [State Peace and Development Council] military government's 
release of some political detainees and allowing the reopening of 
several NLD [National League for Democracy] township branches have been 
increasingly welcomed internally and externally. DVB [Democratic Voice 
of Burma] has already reported about the remarks by NLD Joint Secretary 
U Lwin yesterday. DVB contacted Dr Sein Win, prime minister of the 
National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma [NCGUB], to obtain 
the views of the exiled elected representatives. DVB will now present 
the interview. 

[Dr Sein Win] We welcome this news. We believe the release of more 
political prisoners - not only elected representatives but all political 
prisoners - and the granting of more political freedom will greatly 
enhanced the dialogue process.

[Htet Aung Kyaw] Now that the SPDC has released several some political 
prisoners and allowed the reopening of some NLD branches, can you say 
that the SPDC has either softened their stance or changed their 

[Dr Sein Win] As we have mentioned before we welcomed their actions but 
it is only the release of some detainees and allowing the opening of 
some party branches. We think they need to review the laws, rules, and 
regulations against the political parties.

[Htet Aung Kyaw] According to the news, the release of some detainees 
and opening of party branches have been directly accredited to the 
progress of the talks between the SPDC and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. What do 
you expect from the talks?

[Dr Sein Win] We have already said that we welcomed the talks. 
Furthermore, we must all head towards national unity. At present we are 
on the right track but we need to gallop at a faster pace.

[Htet Aung Kyaw] Yes. According to the news which we have received, UN 
special envoy Mr Razali will return to Burma either at the end of this 
month or early next month to help resume the talks. Rumours are 
spreading that the talks this time will include particulars about the 
transformation. What do you think about the prospects of the talks?

[Dr Sein Win] We really welcomed Mr Razali's trips. The UN can assist us 
in everything. In future we will have to redevelop the nation. The 
participation of the UN, Mr Razali's visits, and the assistance towards 
the resumption and development of the talks are all very much needed and 
we welcome such acts.

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma, Oslo, in Burmese 1430 gmt 30 Jun 01 


Boston Globe: Editorial - Message to Burma


WITH HIS new legislative effort to prevent the state's $30 billion 
pension fund from buying stock in any company doing business in Burma - 
where an illegitimate narco-junta commits the vilest human rights abuses 
- state Representative Byron Rushing is defending the right of the 
people of Massachusetts to decide what may be done with their money.  

Rushing's earlier selective purchasing act was overturned last year by 
the US Supreme Court on the narrow grounds that it had been preempted by 
federal sanctions on the junta that were imposed a year after the 
Massachusetts law was passed. Both that earlier law and the current bill 
were modeled on the precedent of an executive order by which the 
Commonwealth had divested from the apartheid regime in South Africa.  

Fittingly, it was South Africa's Nobel Peace Prize laureate Bishop 
Desmond Tutu who first gave Rushing the idea to craft legislation that 
would free the people of Massachusetts from complicity with Burma's 
thuggish military junta. Tutu was acting in solidarity with his fellow 
Peace Prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been held under house 
arrest as the leader of the party that won 80 percent of the seats in 
Parliament in Burma's last free elections, in 1990.  
The junta has not only thwarted the voters' will, but has collaborated 
in the trafficking of heroin and methamphetamine, has forced villagers 
to porter for the army across minefields, and has been sanctioned by the 
International Labor Organization for its persistent exploitation of 
forced labor. 

The current bill requiring the state's pension fund to divest from Burma 
is markedly different from Rushing's earlier selective purchasing law. 
The overturned 1996 law prevented some companies from selling their 
goods or services to the state. Rushing's new divestment bill applies 
only to the buying of stocks by the state's pension fund, and it will be 
hard to argue that stock prices might thereby be improperly depressed or 
that this bill conflicts with federal sanctions on the junta. 

The state's pension fund is already divested of all tobacco stocks. The 
Rushing bill to divest from Burma derives from the deepest moral source 
of the American attachment to government that represents the people.


The New light of Myanmar: Vitalization of national spirit: a requirement 
for entire people (Part II) 

Saturday, 30  June, 2001 

(Continued from yesterday) 

The persons who have no US dollar income are buying dollars from the 
illegal  money changers and from those who engage in illegal remittances 
at exorbitant  exchange rates in the black market, thereby helping to 
skyrocket the value of  the dollar against the kyat. Such a trend has 
also helped encourage the  illegal foreign exchange deals of the greedy 
persons. I have nothing to say  if an artiste goes shopping abroad under 
sponsorship of someone or some  organization. 

It can be clearly seen with national outlook that if a person buy 
dollars at  the black-market rates to make an unnecessary spending spree 
abroad, it will  bring no benefit to the nation, the act will be 
followed by ill consequences.  Besides, it is not that only the 
dollarcharging schools can bring out  intellectuals, the fact is that 
the basic education schools, vocational  schools and domestic schools 
installed with modern teaching-aids have also  the teachers who have the 
ability to nurture their pupils to become  intellectuals without 
charging any foreign currency. 

The- dollar-charging courses and libraries opened at some foreign 
missions  are not the only places where one can acquire English 
proficiency. There are  many tuition classes, courses, teachers and 
experts in our nation who can  teach a person to be well-versed in 
English without charging dollars.  

General knowledge can also be gained through reading books or studying  
treatises at the Universities Library, the National Library, the 
libraries  opened in Mandalay and Pyay, and the libraries opened in the 
entire nation by  the Information and Public Relations Department. These 
institutions do not  charge dollars for membership fees. And there are 
more. It is most unpleasant  that some of the foreign embassies charge 
visa fees in dollars or in FECs  instead of kyats in issuing visa to 
those who want to go abroad. I think that  this is not in accord with 
the international practice of the embassies. If  the Myanmar missions 
abroad accept fees for issuance  of  visas in dollars  instead of the 
currencies of the respective receiving nations, it will be  like 
insulting these host nations. 

After analyzing the many factors, incidents and consequences, I finally 
find  the answer to the question of the rising commodity prices. Here, I 
would say  that the dollar-dealing persons are the main culprits who are 
trying to  extend the area of the illegal dollar market in Myanmar, 
which will bring ill  consequences to the entire national people. Thus, 
I am presenting all about  the bad habits' of these dollar-dealing 
persons, who totally lack clear  national outlook, in this article. 

The greedy persons are thus creating the fuel oil problem and spreading 
the  rumour concerning the increase in the monthly salaries of the 
government  employees, which is an outdated idea; with such excuses they 
begin to hoard  goods with the aim of hiking consumer prices. The people 
have accepted the  perpetrations of the greedy businessmen in various 
forms and methods to raise  the commodity prices as the storm which has 
resulted from the greed.  

However, because of the past experiences and lessons, the entire people 
of  Myanmar know well that a rumour is ephemeral. It is natural that a 
rumour  will vanish in the air as it is formed only with words. At 
present, the storm  of rising commodity prices has begun to die down as 
the authorities concerned  are taking action against the fuel oil 
hoarders and illegal money changers.  The commodity prices are falling 
gradually. As the prices of the main food  items such as rice, cooking 
oil, beans, chilli, onion and potato are in a  stable situation, there 
is no need for the entire people of Myanmar to panic.  

However, it is not so reasonable that the State has to solve all the 
problems  in Myanmar. The entire people of Myanmar are required to 
firmly uphold the  national spirit to serve the interests of the nation 
and the people and to  stay away from acts causing harm to them with 
their own conviction, knowledge  and commitment in accord with the 
teachings of the Lord Buddha. The national  spirit should not be in 
words alone, it must be materialized into practical  deeds. If we cannot 
materialize national spirit into practical deeds but harm  the national 
interests we will confront the storm of rising commodity prices  again 
and again. Moreover, the efforts to halt the rising commodity prices  
and to prevent against worsening situations will drain our resources, 
and  will thus delay our march towards realizing the national goal.  
If all the Myanmar people of different ages are vitalized with the equal 
 degree of national spirit, I am confident that we will be able to 
confront  all attempts to cause rising commodity prices. 

Author : Pauk Sa 


New York Times:  Wayne Shorter, at 67, Inspiring a Quest for Perfection

 [BurmaNet adds: Wayne Shorter is a famous Jazz musician and composer 
whose composition, Aung San Suu Kyi won a Grammy award.]

 June 30, 2001 

Wayne Shorter, touring with his new band, at Avery Fisher Hall. 
Wayne Shorter could be the one remaining figure in jazz for whom one 
never gives up raised expectations, the last of the demigod jazz 
sphinxes. But why should it be he? If it's for his involvement in the 
1960's Miles Davis quintet, he isn't the sole remaining musician from 
that group. It's not because he always stayed pure, in some ghastly 
sense of jazz conservationism: he's had his tricky moments with jazz 
fusion and long ago gave up New York for Los Angeles. Part of it is his 
silence, the long gaps between albums that suggest artist-at-work. But a 
much larger part of it is the power of his  writing. And if it really is 
his compositions that drive the incredible wave of support, nostalgia, 
empathy and interest among  hardcore jazz fans for Mr. Shorter's 
projects, then perhaps we ought  to stop the hedging and qualifying and 
call him the greatest living  composer of jazz. Others have written on a 
more impressive scale:  Muhal Richard Abrams, Wynton Marsalis, George 
Russell. But within the small-group language of common practice, it is 
Mr. Shorter whose  pieces weather better through time.

 And yet Mr. Shorter, now 67, has never really exploited his high  
status as a composer for acoustic small- group jazz. The first tour  of 
his new quartet, which made a stop at Avery Fisher Hall on Thursday 
night during the JVC Jazz Festival, is the first tour he's  ever made 
leading an acoustic band. The concert, surprisingly brief,  was a 
five-song retrospective; the band is touring a lot this summer, and it's 
exciting to ponder an important repertory finally  made sense of, 
something that happens to too few living jazz musicians.

 The musicians in the band - Danilo Perez on piano, John Patitucci on  
bass, Brian Blade on drums, all of them pretty close to the top of  
their field on their respective instruments - seemed scarily committed 
to the opportunity of making a perfect band for Mr. Shorter, almost 
ready to die for it. What they're playing, in a  sense, is the 
validation of their years of craft and struggle, given  that they came 
into their professional years in the 1980's and 90's,  when the template 
of the 60's Davis quintet - its marriage of limber  improvising and 
changeable form, its accommodation of virtuosity and  antivirtuosity - 
seemed more and more relevant. Playing "Valse Triste," "Chief 
Crazyhorse," "Aung San Suu Kyi,"  "Masqualero," "Atlantis" and "Juju," 
some of them joined together,  the band hardly ever kept a constant 
rhythm. The tempos and dynamics  were in flux, and the musicians were 
searching for the moments when 
 they could come together, only to let the music collapse and be  

 Mr. Shorter, on tenor saxophone for all but "Aung San Suu Kyi," when  
he played soprano with rare strength and focus, was a self-effacing  
bandleader, playing remarkably less than most leaders do. On the  other 
hand, he was playing more than we've come to expect from him:  
stuttering patterns of notes that every once in a while crested into  a 
mild roar.

 The rhythm section expertly built and faded the music around him; it  
was a lot of pressure for any saxophonist to wear the crown the band  
was constructing for him. He is not as strong a saxophonist as he  used 
to be, and there were moments where his intonation failed on  the tenor, 
and even a few moments where he seemed a little lost. But  his slight 
frailties complemented his mysteriously runic songs,  models of 
wasteless melody and imaginative harmonic movement. It's  unquestionable 
that he was more engaged than he has seemed in at  least the last five 
years; there's no reason not to expect the best  from this band's 
further work.


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